What do you get when you combine a savvy international food broker with a seasoned restaurant professional passionate about every aspect of the business?
At Sails, the husband-and-wife team of Veljko Pavicevic and Corinne Ryan has created a unique addition to the Naples dining scene. The stunning interior is focused on small details: The bar marble was imported from Greece, the stemware was hand-blown in Slovenia, and the Laguiole flatware is both elegant and utilitarian. The couple worked on their “pescatarian’s haven” for nearly three years before opening last February at the base of Fifth Avenue South.
“We knew exactly the type of restaurant we wanted to create,” says Pavicevic. “The service is old-school but in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. We’re completely focused on product excellence: Our fish is flown in fresh every day, and we have no freezer space.”
Executive chef Jacob Jasinski cooks that pristine seafood on the cherrywood-burning grill and dresses it with organic, single-estate olive oil from Greece. A typical selection includes rare items such as turbot, Mediterranean daurade, and huge tiger prawns. For carnivores, there’s grass-fed beef and Wagyu from Australia.
Pavicevic supervises dining room operations, putting to practice his experience at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples and other Ritz restaurants around the country. He has managed to assemble a “full orchestra” of employees who are talented and complement one another, both in the kitchen and dining room.
“Because of our backgrounds, we have no boundaries for sourcing the best ingredients,” says Ryan. “And we constantly monitor our guests to make sure we’re succeeding.”
The couple is gratified but not surprised that the Naples community has welcomed them so warmly. “The experience of building the restaurant from scratch was challenging, but we knew that the clientele here was sophisticated and well-traveled,” says Pavicevic. “We thought they would appreciate what we were attempting to do, and fortunately we were right.”